Skip to main content

Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

See other formats

DEAR WEST,                                              From Paris> 1739-
I should think myself to blame not to try to divert you, when you tell me I can. From the air of your letter you seem to want amusement, that is, you want spirits. I would recommend to you certain little employments that I know of, and that belong to you, but that I imagine bodily exercise is more suitable to your complaint. If you would promise me to read them in the Temple gardenl, I would send you a little packet of plays and pamphlets that we have made up, and intend to dispatch to Dick's2 the first opportunity.— Stand by, clear the way, make room for the pompous
appearance of Versailles le Grand!-----But no:  it fell so
short of my idea of it, mine, that I have resigned to Gray the office of writing its panegyric. He likes it. They say I am to like it better nezt Sunday; when the sun is to shine, the king is to be fine, the water-works are to play, and the new knights of the Holy Ghost are to be installed8! Ever since Wednesday, the day we were there, we have done nothing but dispute about it. They say, we did not see it to advantage, that we ran through the apartments, saw the garden en passant, and slubbered over Trianon. I say, we saw nothing. However, we had time to see that the great front is a lumber of littleness, composed of black brick, stuck full of bad old busts, and fringed with gold rails. The rooms are all small, except the great gallery, which is noble, but totally wainscoted with looking-glass. The garden is littered with statues and fountains, each of which has its tutelary deity. In particular, the elementary
LETTER 16.—1 West was now studying law in London.
2 A celebrated coffee-house in Meet Street, near Temple Bar.
3 The installation took place on Whitsunday. (See letter of Gray to West, from Paris, May 22, 1739.)